|Reading Group Challenge - 12 + 2|
In my 12 + 2 challenge (basically select 12 books plus 2 alternates for completion in 2012), I'm doing very well, having completed six of my selections so far. At the moment, I'm about 3/4 of the way through my 7th selection, Canadian author Robertson Davies' The Rebel Angels. During my university years, back in the mid-70's I had read his Deptford Trilogy; Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders. It was a fascinating series, magical in fact and I had enjoyed very much. Having said that, I never had any desire to follow on and explore his other novels. Tastes move on, I guess. Recently, I rediscovered him, purchasing the first in the Cornish trilogy from an on-line book store that was having a sale. When I was selecting my books for the 12 + 2 challenge I added The Rebel Angels and I'm so glad I did. What an excellent novel so far. The story is narrated by two individuals, Maria Magdelena Theotoky, a part-gypsy, university student, working for a professor she loves. The other narrator is another university professor, Simon Darcourt, an Anglican priest, who teaches classics and develops his own love for the beautiful Maria. Binding these narratives is the bequest of a collector of antiquity; paintings, manuscripts, etc, the eccentric Francis Cornish, who designates 3 professors as executors of his estate. This description only touches on the intricacies of the story. It deals with romance, philosophy, gypsy magic, love and so many other things. It's well-written; Davies has a wonderful way with words, his ideas become intricately woven into the story. And the story is interesting, developed lovingly and I can't wait to finish!!
(Editor's Updt - Finished this evening and thoroughly enjoyed. Best book I've read this year. 5 stars)
|March Genre Challenge - Romance|
|March Genre # 1|
This is a small story, but interesting. There is a hint of eroticism in it and the budding of romantic/ sexual feelings in Yvette. It was a nice teaser for the monthly challenge and an introduction to D.H. Lawrence for me. I had taken Sons and Lovers at university, but it wasn't a novel at that time that made an impression on me. I did enjoy The Virgin and the Gypsy and it may encourage me to read more Lawrence.
As a matter of interest, I also purchased three other novels that fall into the March genre category. Whether I get the chance to read one or the other in March, I do intend to attempt them this year.
It's a premise that makes me uncomfortable, but I may persevere as it is a classic for its time. It was made into movies twice, the first by Stanley Kubrick in 1962. It starred James Mason, Shelley Winters, Peter Sellars and Sue Lyon as Lolita. The other was in 1997 by Adrian Lynne, starring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffiths and Dominique Swain as Lolita.
If I do read it, I'll let you know my thoughts..
The second D.H. Lawrence novel that I purchased was Lady Chatterley's Lover. It was originally published privately in 1928 and could not be openly published in the UK until 1960. It became notorious for its explicit descriptions of sex and use of, at the time, unprintable words. The story summary is as follows - (taken from back cover of this edition)
"Clifford Chatterley returns from the First World War as an invalid. Constance nurses him and tries to be the dutiful wife but begins to feel oppressed by their childless marriage and isolated life. Partly encouraged by Clifford to seek a lover, she embarks on a passionate affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. Through their liaison, Lawrence explores the complications of sex, love and class."
There were many film adaptations, including the 1981 film version starring Sylvia Kristel and Nicholas Clay.
The final book that I chose for this challenge was John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman. It tells the story of Sarah Woodruff, a disgraced Englishwoman, who has been abandoned by her French lover. Charles Smithson, a 19th century gentleman, falls in love with her. The book tells the story of their love affair.
The book was adapted for film by director Karl Reisz and playwright Harold Pinter. It starred Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons and received 5 Oscar nominations, including Meryl Streep as Best Actress and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).
So as you can see, I went a bit overboard on the March challenge. I'll let you know as I attempt and finish these books.
Keep on reading!